digestive health

Constipation can lead to serious illness

Constipation is a very common health issue in our society. It can be an acute issue or a chronic issue and if it’s a chronic issue, it can lead to serious health problems. Why is constipation so prevalent? What are the main causes of constipation? 

The number one cause of constipation is the processed food that most folks are eating. This processed food is not food, it’s food like substances. (FLS) I coined this phrase last year while talking to a friend and expressing my concern and utter shock at all the FLS around us. This processed food is not recognized by the body and it’s void of any good bacteria, enzymes, and vitamins and minerals. The body has a hard time digesting this processed food and this leads to an imbalance in the micro-biome or bacteria in your gut. The bacteria are largely responsible for creating the perfect environment for creating and forming a health bowel movement. When the micro-biome is weakened, constipation sets in.

Other causes of constipation are stress, low stomach acid and taking too many pharmaceutical drugs. Stress can put your body in the sympathetic nervous system and this causes your body and mind to be on high alert for danger and this shuts down the digestive system and revs up your adrenaline, your heart rate and your respiratory system. Sadly, many people are in this sympathetic state most of the time and this hampers the digestive system.

Chronic constipation can lead to immune system problems, auto-immune diseases, such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, etc., headaches and migraines, fatigue, brain fog and many other health issues.

The best solutions to end the unhealthy cycle of constipation are to eat real food, reduce stress levels, decrease or eliminate pharmaceutical drugs and to move your body in a way that you enjoy. Best foods to eat: avocados, coconut oil, olives and olive oil, pastured raised meats, eggs, steamed green vegetables, home made vegetable juice, sauerkraut, fruit, but not too much fruit and kombucha tea. Nutritional supplements consisting of probiotics, enzymes, digestive bitters and if needed, HCL with Pepsin will be helpful. Gillette Nutriton offers an amazing Probiotic/Enzyme supplement called B-Pro. Here is the link to B-Pro.

Contact Gillette Nutriton for a free evaluation on your digestive issues.  Here are more Gillette Nutriton Blogs on digestive health. Digestive Health!

Crohn’s Disease

Digestive health issues are a huge epidemic in our society and one of the of most alarming digestive diseases is Crohn’s disease. Crohn’s disease is growing at a fast rate and unfortunately, modern medicine does not and will not have the answer or cure. Why are many people suffering from Crohn’s disease?

Crohn’s disease is classified as an Irritable Bowel Disease and it is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract. Crohn’s disease is also classified as an autoimmune disorder where the body attacks itself. It mainly occurs in the last part of the small intestine, called the ileum and the beginning of the large colon. However, Crohn’s disease can occur anywhere along the entire gastrointestinal tract, from the mouth to the anus and it can affect the entire thickness of the bowel wall. 

Some of the most common symptoms of Crohn’s disease include the following: persistent diarrhea, rectal bleeding, an urgent need to move bowels, abdominal cramps and pain, a sensation of incomplete evacuation and constipation. Other symptoms can include fever, loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue, night sweats and a loss of normal menstrual cycles. 

The main cause of Crohn’s disease is a poor diet made possible from our modern society with the large processed food companies, fast food restaurants, agricultural chemical products in the form of pesticides and the ever increasing genetical modified organisms (GMOs) in the food supply. All of these modern applications to our food supply wreck havoc on our entire digestive and immune systems by greatly weakening the body’s ability to generate proper levels of stomach acid (hydrochloric acid), the body’s ability to absorb nutrients within the small intestine and the body’s ability to keep the proper balance of bacteria, mainly in the large intestine, but throughout the entire body. When these functions of the body are weakened or destroyed, disease sets in and one of these diseases is Crohn’s disease. Simply put, Crohn’s disease is the inability of the digestive system to digest, absorb and assimilate the nutrients necessary for a healthy body and mind. This sets the stage for the body to start attacking itself because the body sees the undigested food in the blood steam as a foreign invader. Couple the undigested food with the chemicals from food and body care products and the stage for general war against the body is set. 

The best way to mitigate or cure Crohn’s disease is a complete lifestyle change, beginning with healthy food. The most healing diet includes the following foods: grass fed beef, pastured chicken, wild fish, pastured eggs, oysters, avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, cod liver oil, bone broth from pastured animals, raw pastured butter, raw cow or goat milk, raw cow or goat yogurt and kefir, homemade vegetable juice, steamed vegetables, raw apple cider vinegar, raw honey and perhaps, some fruit here and there. All of these foods need to be hormone free and organic. Each person with Crohn’s disease will be at a different stage in their dealing with this disease and the above listed foods will vary from person to person. Some folks will be able to eat some fruit and cooked vegetables and some will not. Some folks will be able to digest raw milk and some will not. Some folks will have to eat a completely raw primal diet to ensure the best path to healing. Grains, beans, pasteurized dairy, nuts, seeds, added sweeteners, starches and raw vegetables need to be avoided to ensure the best healing of the digestive system. Avoid all processed foods, fast foods, GMO foods and pesticide laden foods. 

Certain supplements will be helpful and these supplements will vary from person to person. These supplements include the following: HCL with pepsin capsules, digestive bitters, digestive enzymes, probiotics, raw cod liver oil, whole foods based vitamin C, whole foods based zinc, other whole foods based vitamins and minerals, adaptogenic herbs, terramin clay and other supplements. 

Besides a radical change in diet, other lifestyle changes include the following: using very little body care products and these body care products need to be organic, getting outside as much as possible and soaking up the sunlight, following circadian rhythm, doing some Earthing (putting your bare feet on the Earth), engaging in moving your body, deep breathing, emotional expression and healing, reducing stress levels, spending time with loved ones, and standing up for yourself. Of course, there are other healthy lifestyle changes to incorporate into your life and it will vary from person to person.

Crohn’s disease is a challenging and sometimes, a major life altering disease. If we are going to see any reduction in Crohn’s disease with the hopes of curing it, we start with what we eat and we eat foods that have healing energy and properties; and from there, we start to radical change the way we live on every level of life: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. 

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting is becoming quite popular these days, and for good reason. What is Intermittent Fasting? For starters, it’s not true fasting, when you abstain from all food and beverages, except water, for a day or two or longer. Intermittent Fasting is when you abstain from all food and beverages, except water, for a period of 16 hours of the 24 hours that make up a day. 

It may sound crazy or impossible to do, but when you are able to do it, Intermittent Fasting will do wonders for your body and mind. It will enhance brain power and focus, decrease any inflammation in the body, allow the digestive system to relax and repair and allow the endocrine system to relax and repair. Other benefits will be experienced based on each individual’s lifestyle. 

Most folks graze all day long, putting a lot of pressure and burden on the digestive system and on the endocrine system. When these systems are tired, inflammation, digestive upsets and hormonal imbalances will occur. 

The best way to ease into Intermittent Fasting is to reduce the amount of carbohydrates you consume and increase the amount of fat and protein, especially fat. This is the only way you will be able to fast for 16 hours as your body and mind will have enough calories from fat and protein to sustain your body and mind. When you eat too many carbohydrates, blood sugar greatly increases and in turn, insulin and cortisol greatly increase causing blood sugar to drop. With this cycle being repeated, you end up eating every 2-3 hours and causing too much work for the digestive and endocrine systems.

For Intermittent Fasting, choose the best 8 hours for you to consume your food for the day. For example: 9am-5pm; 10am-6pm, 11am-7pm or 12-8pm. On your first attempt, if you can’t make the full 16 hours of fasting, it’s okay. Do not force yourself to fast the entire 16 hours if your blood sugar drops. Eat something and attempt it again, another day. 

Some folks see huge benefits from Intermittent Fasting and they do it every day. For other folks, 2-3 days a week is perfect. Experiment and discover what the best plan of Intermittent Fasting is for you.

For more information, watch this video.

 

Digestive Bitters

One of the most important health protocols you can do for yourself is to consume digestive bitters on a regular basis.  You may be wondering, what the heck are digestive bitters? Digestive bitters are herbs that are consumed as a tea or as a liquid tincture before eating a meal. These herbs are very bitter. Their bitterness when tasted, stimulates the body to get ready for the coming meal. When a bitter substance is recognized by bitter receptors on the tongue, a chain of neural and endocrine events begins, labeled as the “bitter reflex.” Mediated by the release of the gastric hormone gastrin, this reflex results in an overall stimulation of digestive function, which over time strengthens the structure and function of all digestive organs (liver, stomach, gallbladder, pancreas, etc.). These digestive bitters stimulate the gastric juices or as I like to say, the gastric fire, to be prepared to break down the impending meal. The main gastric juice involved in this process is hydrochloric acid which is released by the parietal cells in the stomach, which is regulated by gastrin, a hormone, which is secreted by the G cells.

The job of the stomach is to break down the food that is consumed, mainly the protein, into a chyme ball or acidic soup so that the protein and to a certain extent, the fat and carbohydrates, will be able to be absorbed, assimilated and utilized by the small intestine and large intestine through a complex and elaborate system that involves the pancreas, liver and gallbladder and many enzymes and trillions of bacteria.

If stomach acid (hydrochloric acid) is not strong enough then all the other mechanisms and duties performed by the pancreas, liver, small intestine, etc., will be diminished and many problems, minor and major, can arise, with the main problem being malnourishment.

Millions of people suffer from low stomach acid and the results are: indigestion, constipation, heart burn, gas, burping, acid reflux and a host of other problems. Besides a big change if diet, digestive bitters will be a huge help. The best way to take digestive bitters is in the tincture form. Take 40-60 drops of the tincture in a little glass of water or hold a little bit of water in your mouth and squirt the drops into your mouth and swallow. Do this 10-15 minutes before the meal and do this before every meal.

The following is a list of some of the various digestive bitters: Angelica, Dandelion, Goldenseal, Horehound, Wormwood, Peppermint, Orange Peel, Yellow Dock, Fennel, Ginger, Cardamom and Gentian.

Digestive bitters were a big part of many cultures and are still a big part in cultures around the world. It’s time to bring this health remedy back to our culture.

My favorite digestive bitters are from the following herbal companies: Gaia Herbs, Herb Pharm, and Urban Moonshine.

Butter and Saturated Fat are Healthy

Butter and saturated fat are healthy! As a nutritionist and health coach, I am amazed at the low fat dogma that still persists in society. Once my clients see this dogma, they embrace the butter, coconut oil and eggs and feel much better.

The origins of butter go back thousands of years to when
our ancestors first started domesticating animals. In fact, the first
written reference to butter was found on a 4500- year old limestone tablet illustrating how butter was made. In India, ghee (clarified butter) has been used as a staple food, and as a symbol of purity, worthy of offering to the gods in religious ceremonies for more than 3000 years.
The Bible has references to butter as the product of milk
from the cow, and of Abraham setting butter and milk from a calf before
three angels who appeared to him on the plains of Mamre.
For millennia, people around the globe have prized butter
for its health benefits.
So how did butter become a villain in the quest for good
health?
At the turn of our century, heart disease in America was
rare. By 1960, it was our number one killer. Yet during the same time
period, butter consumption had decreased – from eighteen pounds per person per year, to four.
A researcher named Ancel Keys was the first to propose that
saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet were to blame for coronary
heart disease. Numerous subsequent studies costing hundreds of millions of dollars, have failed to conclusively back up this claim. Yet the notion that a healthy diet is one with minimal fat, particularly
saturated fat, has persisted. While Americans drastically reduced their
intake of natural animal fats like butter and meat, the processed food
industry, particularly the low-fat food industry, proliferated.
When the baby boomers were children, concerned mothers
began to replace butter with margarine. The margarine manufacturers told
them it was the healthier alternative and mothers believed them. In those
days no one asked, “Where is the science to prove it? I want to
know before I give this man-mad stuff to my children. After all we
humans have been eating butter for thousands of years.”
As a result, since the early 1970’s, Americans’ average saturated fat
intake has dropped considerably, while rates of obesity,
diabetes, and consequently, heart disease, have surged.
Reducing healthy sources of dietary fat has contributed to
a serious decline in the health of our bodies and minds. Those of us that speak out against the anti-fat establishment are still largely ignored.
Is Margarine Better than Butter? No! This is a tragic myth. Butter is a completely natural food essential to your health – especially when you eat organic. Please make the extra effort to obtain high-quality organic, raw butter. Margarines, on the other hand, are a processed food, created chemically from refined polyunsaturated oils. The process used to make these normally liquid oils into spreadable form is called hydrogenation. Margarine and similar hydrogenated or processed polyunsaturated oils are very detrimental to your health.

Butter is rich in the most easily absorbable form of Vitamin A, necessary for thyroid and adrenal health. Butter contains lauric acid, important in treating fungal infections and candida and butter has the following healing properties:

1. Contains lecithin, essential for cholesterol metabolism.
2. Contains anti-oxidants that protect against free radical damage.
3. Has anti-oxidants that protect against weakening arteries.
4. Is a great source of Vitamins E and K.
5. Is a very rich source of the vital mineral selenium.
6. Saturated fats in butter have strong anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties.
7. Butter contains conjugated linoleic acid, which is a potent anti-cancer agent, muscle builder, and immunity booster
8. Vitamin D found in butter is essential to absorption of calcium.
9. Protects against tooth decay.
10. Is your only source of an anti-stiffness factor, which protects against calcification of the joints.
10. Anti-stiffness factor in butter also prevents hardening of the arteries, cataracts, and calcification of the pineal gland.
11. Is a source of Activator X, which helps your body absorb minerals.
12. Is a source of iodine in a highly absorbable form.
13. May promote fertility in women.
14. Is a source of quick energy, and is not stored in our body’s adipose tissue.
15. Cholesterol found in butterfat is essential to children’s brain and nervous system development.
16. Contains Arachidonic Acid, which plays a role in brain function and is a vital component of cell membranes.
17. Protects against gastrointestinal infections

 

Raw butter is an incredible raw fat. It is a top notch healing food for our modern times. It soothes and lubricates nerves, muscles, and mucous membranes, cleanses and strengthens all the organs and glands, heals intestinal lesions, dissolves hardened plaque from eating bad fats, binds with and helps remove toxins and waste products from the body, lubricates bones and joints, cleanses, fuels, lubricates, protects, and rejuvenates cells, and aids in new cellular growth.

Grass fed, raw, Organic Butter is the Best as all the nutrients are available as pasteurization destroys the enzymes, acids and some of the vitamins and minerals. If you cannot obtain raw butter, the best choice is grass fed, organic pasteurized butter.

Check out www.realmilk.com for raw butter, raw milk and other raw dairy products from every state in the USA.

Bacteria Is The Staff Of Life And It Does Not Cause Disease

Bacteria and germs actually help our bodies to become stronger and healthier and they help to remove toxins from our bodies. I refer you to Aajonus Vonderplanitz, PHd in nutrition and the creator of the primal diet. He states the “janitor” role very clearly. In fact, Aajonus, states that bacteria, germs, viruses and even parasites aid our bodies in removing toxins. A quote from Dr. Henry Bieler sums it up: “DISEASE IS NOT CAUSED BY GERMS, BUT BY THE TOXIC ENVIRONMENT WE CREATE WITHIN OUR BODIES FROM TODAY’S COUNTERFEIT FOODS!”
I also refer you to “probiotics”, the friendly bacteria. Countless books have stated how friendly bacteria play a role in building our immune systems and removing toxins, etc. from our bodies.

Should We Worry About Bacteria?

Bacterial concern is a phobia that has swept the civilized
world. Our natural food-supply is being annihilated because of it.
We must look rationally at the bacterial issue. Consider the fact
that many tribes ate primarily unsalted raw meat, unsalted raw
fats and/or unsalted raw dairy products from the beginning. They
did not wash their hands or sterilize their food before eating.
Every form of natural bacteria, including salmonella, E. coli and
campylobacteria were eaten with their food, abundantly and
constantly. Why were they vibrant, healthy and disease-free if
microbes are the culprits?

From the time babies are born, they put everything in their
mouths, including dirt and microbes. It is believed that babies build
immunity through small benign doses of bacteria, allergens, and
pathogens. I believe that for millions of years animals, including humans, formed working
relationships with bacteria, germs, viruses and parasites.  Those
microbes have a janitorial role in nature and we benefit from
them. When parents stop babies from putting stuff in their
mouths, they hinder the relationship with microbes and the
environment, unless of course the objects are poisonous, such as
man-made chemicals and most toys that are made from plastic.

I am not saying to never wash your hands or take a shower, but do not use anti-bacterial soap and products that are filled with man-made chemicals and do not overly use soap and wash your hair everyday. Begin to have a good relationship with nature and with bacteria. Play in the dirt, plant a garden, walk barefoot, eat lots of raw foods, including fermented foods and become one with the beauty of Mother Nature. As you embrace the role of bacteria, you will become healthier with a stronger immune system, a stronger digestive system and a stronger neurological system. Yes, your brain will function better and your mental state will improve.

Kombucha Tea

Speaking of refined sugar, popular “sweet tea” does not conjure up feelings of health and healing, unless we are talking about Kombucha Tea, the big wave of health that is in every health food store across the nation. Is Kombucha just another fad, or a real health elixir?

Kombucha is the real deal and a healthy and tasty drink that provides energy, many vitamins and minerals, good bacteria and enzymes for digestive health and organic acids, one of which is Glucuronic acid that aids the liver in the detoxification process. Kombucha Tea is a biological active product fermented with a living culture to become a natural living food high in enzymes. The fermentation process of Kombucha leaves it naturally sparkling and virtually sugar free.

Being in Colorado, I took the opportunity to visit High Country Kombucha, in Eagle, to see their operations and how they make the kombucha tea and all the different varieties, like Aloe, Chai Spice, Wild Root, Passion Flower, Ginger, etc.. The origins of kombucha tea is thought to have started in the Far East, as far back as two thousands years. The first recorded use was in China in 221 BC during the Tsin Dynasty.

If you want to save some money and not add more glass bottles to the waste stream, you can make your own Kombucha at home. Use organic refined (but not bleached) sugar and organic black tea, bags or loose. You are adding anti-oxidants to the process through the use of healthy green, black or white tea leaves. The kombucha culture looks like a beige or white rubbery pancake and it is often called a scoby which stands for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts. The culture feeds on the sugar and black tea to create all its healthy benefits. The process is simple and you will have your kombucha to drink in 7-15 days. Visit kombuchacultures.com or organic-kombucha.com to read and see the step by step directions and/or order your kombucha culture. High Country Kombucha is the best commercially made kombucha on the market and it’s available in various health food stores across the country. www.hckombu.com
Cheers!

Spring-time Allergies

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Springtime is here and so is the pollen and allergies/hay fever for many folks. Why are so may people afflicted with these allergies? Sneezing, itchy eyes, red eyes, and mucous build up are caused by histamine produced by your cells when they perceive an invader coming into the body. The invader is pollen, but pollen is natural, so why is there such a reaction by the body? The two top reasons are unhealthy digestion and cortisol levels that are too low.

When digestion is compromised, the body grows weaker and is already overly active with white blood cell activity and histamine reaction due to the toxic and unhealthy food that is being consumed. The biggest culprits are sugar, wheat, pasteurized dairy, processed foods and artificial sweeteners. These foods can cause on over growth of bacteria, yeast and mucus in the small intestine, resulting in poor absorption and assimilation of nutrients. Over time, the body can start attacking itself due to the inability of the body to break down these unhealthy foods. Throw on the springtime pollen and the body can become overwhelmed. From the stress of unhealthy eating and the overall stress of modern living, the adrenal glands can become weak and not be able to produce enough cortisol, which is the body’s main anti-inflammatory agent. The adrenal glands are our main source to help us deal with stress. The two main stress hormones are adrenaline and cortisol. Adrenaline is produced for short-term stress and cortisol is produced for long-term adaptation, stress and a host of other important jobs such as immune system moderation, keeping blood sugar levels balanced and regulating blood pressure. Our modern lifestyles with its long-term stressors weaken the adrenal glands to the point of fatigue, resulting in low levels of cortisol and other hormones that the adrenals make. Cortisol regulates immune response activity by balancing the activity of white blood cells and histamine. Cortisol senses when it’s time to stop the immune response and will carry away the white blood cells and histamine when their job is over. If cortisol is too low due to weak adrenal glands, the activity of the white blood cells and histamine will be excessive and the sneezing and itchy eyes can be overwhelming.

The best measures to take are to stay well hydrated through filtered water and from healthy fats, avoid processed foods, sugar, wheat, pasteurized dairy and alcohol as best as you can, take a strong probiotic formula and digestive enzymes to aid in a healthier digestion and to support the adrenal glands with Vitamin C, the B Vitamins, and adaptogen and adrenal support herbs, such as Ginseng, Rhodiola, Ashwaganda, Nettles and Licorice. Other herbs to consider are Eyebright, Elderberry, Yerba Mansa and Marshmallow.

A very healing diet consists of a liberal amount of healthy fats, including coconut oil and eggs, moderate protein, green vegetables and fresh green vegetable juice. The adrenal glands are a very fatty gland and they need lots of healthy fat and protein for proper hormone production and the digestive system will heal over time with these healthy fats and good sources of protein, fresh vegetable juice and fermented foods like sauerkraut.

A note on healthy fats: The healthy water in our bodies is the water we make from consuming healthy fat. (Avocados, coconut oil, eggs, flax oil, cod liver oil, raw butter and fermented raw dairy like yogurt and kefir). Far too many people are missing the key nutrients from these fats as we’ve been told to eat a low fat diet and saturated fat is not healthy. This is wrong and the consequences can be seen in our society, especially with low adrenal function and unhealthy digestive systems that lead to springtime allergies.

Finding ways to reduce stress levels will also be very helpful and will aid in the healing of the adrenal glands and the digestive system. Breath deeply, meditate, do activities that bring you joy and stay away, as best as you can, from activities and people that drain your energy. Strive on focusing on the positive and enjoying life